When patients start seeing you as an opinion leader who is also a friend, you have gained credibility in communication.
Credibility – if you have it, it can make your business. If you don’t, he can’t break it. Building your credibility in communication channels can increase your patient retention and attract new patients.
What are the best ways to gain credibility through marketing? Denise M. Dorman, marketing consultant for WriteBrain Media and author of the “Marketing Malpractice Tales from the Front” e-book, says it’s because of “social proof.”
According to Content Sparks, there are six types of social proof:
• The wisdom of crowds
• People like you
• Circle of friends
• Users and Customers
• Celebrity endorsements
Dorman provided insights on social proof and building credibility in communication. The following is a portion of our interview, edited for length and clarity.
Strengthen credibility in communication
She says social proof takes many forms:
REVIEWS: Ask patients to post their reviews on sites such as Healthgrades.com, Vitals.com, PhysiciansGrade.com, Yelp and Google Places. People will search for you before they use you.
TESTIMONIALS: Video patient testimonials are ideal for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, LinkedIn, as well as DC Lobby TV, YouTube/Vimeo channels (do a compilation), and website.
DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU GIVE AS YOU TAKE: Encourage UGC (user/patient generated content) on your website. If your patients are openly willing to interact with you on social media and identify themselves as your patients (to align with HIPAA laws), return their loyalty by sharing their gifts. Display their photographs or paintings suitable for a mixed audience in your lobby.
Maybe organize an exhibition event after hours. Play their instrumental compositions on your PA system and put up a sign that says, “The music you’re hearing today is from one of our patients.
Share their gifts on your social networks. Remember the 80/20 rule of social media: social media is 20% about YOU and 80% about the people who interact with you.
Incorporate volunteering into your team building exercises with your staff. Make a Habitat for Humanity day. Post the photos on social media. Host a fundraiser or donate a percentage of your earnings for a period of time to someone in need. All of these selfless acts will have the effect of raising local awareness of you and expanding your customer base.
WHITE PAPERS and CASE STUDIES: If the CD has written a white paper or case study, have them available in the waiting room as takeaways. Include patient testimonials (case studies, testimonials) in every newsletter. Show before and after X-rays of a patient’s spine improvement or show before and after pictures of a patient’s posture improvement.
Capture footage of the patient at the start of their treatment journey and show their progress as their body is repaired. Clear before and after case studies are the best visual proof of DC’s capabilities.
Books, Media and Online Commentary
BOOKS: Authors of books are inherently held in high esteem. Today’s definition of a book, however, is not as onerous to create as it once was. If you take six months of newsletter or blog articles and download them in PDF format to Amazon Kindle and publish them as “Best of Dr. Spinal Cracker, Volume 1: January-June 2021” and you sell them for 49 cents, you’re considered a published author. Get a few printed copies to sell in your office for instant credibility. If you do podcast, take transcripts of your podcast and post them. (Google Docs and One Note will transcribe recordings for free.)
PROACTIVELY DEAL WITH NEGATIVE COMMENTS/REVIEWS: People will review how you behave when negative comments are posted on your social pages or review sites. You always want to correct a misperception and get the problem offline as quickly as possible. Once you’ve solved the problem, ask that negative reviewer to spend as much time on how you solved their problem and/or ask them to withdraw their negative review.
INTERVIEWS AND MEDIA MENTIONS: Posting media mention links on your website and social media will build trust as these are sort of third-party endorsements that you are a leader of opinion.
Become the thought leader they know
When patients start to see you as an opinion leader who is also a friend, you have gained credibility in communication and they will not abandon you. Take a genuine interest in them and they will take an interest in you.
Retention won’t become a problem unless the patient moves out, you accept their insurance, or you make a misdiagnosis that results in something disastrous.
Word of mouth marketing is still the strongest form of social proof, happy and satisfied patients will always help you grow your practice.